What I’d like to speak during my opportunity to be retired for 5 years. Playing golf every day, wearing out my body, drinking and smoking cigars and doing things you shouldn’t do. I was fortunate enough to be able to select a career. A secondary career that I felt energized and enthusiastic about and I started dabbling as a consultant in the solar industry and I became enamored with the idea that possibly houses, businesses could run from solar energy production and this would be a nice legacy to live, to leave after I…leave. To have the ability that the solar systems that I installed would continue to keep operating and operating etc.. So what I wanted to do today was to develop my own environmental impact statement and to demonstrate the primary purpose and we talk way to much I think about money.
When we talk about solar everybody wants to know how fast the system pays for itself. How, when the return on investment occurs. How much money will the solar system offset. And I think there is something a lot more important than that. That’s the environmental impact of the solar energy system rather than the financial impact. So what I did was I calculated up all of the projects that I have been responsible for and have installed over the last twelve years. Approximately about 5 million watts of energies been installed at my direction. So about 5 mega-watts of solar. So, the equivalencey of the carbon footprint offset we talk about in environmental impact is equivalent to the 5,032,513 trees planted. Miles driven would be 228,750,000 miles of a medium size car obviously not a small one.
Where the green house gas emissions that had been reduced 124,716 tons of CO2. So that’s a significant amount of environmental impact. Now this will be the cumulative if I were to stop today and not produce anymore over the next twenty five years. The actual energy produced from sunshine would be 157,750,000 in kilo-watt hours of electricity and the last thing that everyone is always interested in is money saved from those energy systems over the next twenty five years. It would be $61,568,850, assuming 5.5%inflationary rate of cost of power over the next twenty five years. So at the proud accomplishment when I got into the business for.
I never really made a lot of money in the solar business but I enjoy everyday being able to come consult with my customers to design solutions for them and I enjoy watching their enthusiasm occur when their meter starts going the backwards direction. So that is why I’m here and what I wanted to speak on and I’d be happy to answer any questions that anybody may have about anything.
I’ve heard with only certain types of climates solar panels on your house will actually last and produce energy.
That’s a good question. The solar technology, the panel itself or module they call it is very stable technology and very well tested in life conditions. They’ve been around many years and have not changed significantly their design. They’re warranted by their manufacturer to still be producing 80% of the power they made brand new twenty five years from now.
So it’s highly unlikely any of the manufacturers will be around twenty five years. It seems that they are falling like flies but the actual technology the equipment how its made has been well tested on hot roofs and extreme environments and on mountain tops and marine and salty air. They last and they work and they continue to work for a long period of time. So it’s a very stable technology and they do work good.
If someone moves is it easier to just start over? Can they take it with them to their new house or what?
That’s a good question that you know I sold my house that had solar on it, the new owner was excited they were inheriting a house that had solar energy. So I got to start over on the next house but I could have taken them off and moved them. I think it’s easier to sell them with it and let it go. There’s a lot of leasing programs today that provide assumable leases. So, you can essentially leave it there it’s kind of like the satellite dish, you can call them up and get a new one installed for nothing at your new house. So it’s really nothing that is of a concern. Yes mam.
My neighbor has solar panels and he pays like $7 – $14 a month for his electricity and he has a spa.
Yeah, that’s the nice part about it. Did he pay for the solar or did he lease it? Do you know? He paid for it many years ago.
That’s what I did I paid for mine. It was very expensive twelve years ago. They’ve come down in cost substantially.
Isn’t there a state program that will pay for the house right now?
Yeah, there’s like 30% of the cost is a tax credit. You’ve got to be paying taxes but, if you have a tax liability 30% of the money that you spend is a tax credit. There’s some small rebates depending on which utility you are connected to.
I know I’ve asked this before but have things been changed about putting solar panels on manufactured homes?
It’s always an issue as to who controls over manufactured homes. If it’s a home with an actual real estate title to it. And the manufacturer does not have a warranty with you and they use something bigger than 2×2 roof rafters and you can actually do it.
We’ve done some. But, if it’s a new home in a development and there’s a warranty usually that comes with them that lasts for a long time. And if you connect your solar system to the roof system you can void your warranty on the manufactured home.
So does that pertain to the roof itself?
Yeah, it’s a loading issue it’s not the weight going down it’s the wind gusts going up. So once you connect the solar panels all together in an array it can get an updraft from strong wind and if the attachment systems weren’t sufficiently built or designed for that than that could be a problem. We’ve seen solar arrays that have been connected to rooftops like in Florida where hurricane’s come. The whole array is still intact but it’s in somebody else’s yard. With that section of roof that it’s connected to.
So how would you know if you’re home would qualify for solar panels?
What you need to do is you need to get an engineering certificate. A certification of the design. And that would require a physical stamp which we perform and we get. So if you were interested in doing it. It’s just an additional step you need to go through in order to get some engineer to stamp it. And we got guys who drink a lot and if give them $300 they’ll certify anything. I’ve been gonged. I have to hurry.
What if one of these big homes around here, one of these 2,500 3,000 square foot homes you got an A.C. unit, you’ve got a pool. What exactly can this thing power up on a day like today?
Where we’ve got blue skies. On my house the meter instead of going backwards during air conditioning it would be stationary. So it wasn’t going backwards, it wasn’t going forwards, but I had a small system and I had a small air conditioner. Generally, I did a big house in Yorba Linda and we tested it with it on and with it off and it was still going backwards but slower than it was when it was off. With an A.C. unit and cold filter … but to be sure if the power goes off, your solar system goes off as well and essentially nothing operates. So, solar systems aren’t replacements for grid power. Solar systems are designed to be grid connected and they use grid power now I do have a customer that Gil sent me. We’re building a huge battery back up system and he will be the only house in Newport Beach. Probably in his community. I can give you the address. If you need you cell phones charged when there’s a grid out. I’ve heard that if your electrical bill is under $150 it doesn’t pay to use… My bill was $90 when I put mine in. It wasn’t about the money for me. I just liked the idea of environmental offset. So, you’ll have to wait for my next presentation if you want more information.
If you’re looking for someone you can trust to build your solar project, or if you just want to get an honest second opinion, call John!